Vet Center Sued After Owner Alleges Dog Had Burns After Teeth Cleaning

Poodle

Molly simply went in to have her teeth cleaned, but her owner says she came out with burns to her belly after the cleaning.

Sandy Alexander, a Florida resident, is suing Calusa Veterinary Center in Boca Raton, for the negligence and emotional distress that the clinic caused her five-year-old toy poodle two years ago.

When Alexander picked up Molly after the cleaning, she was told that Molly may have developed sensitivity to the heating pads used during the procedure.

Alexander claimed that Molly seemed listless and she began to develop blisters and would cry when she was picked up.

The lawsuit claims that members at the vet center denied that Molly sustained burns, even though they wrapped Molly in bandages and treated her with ice packs after the procedure. It also claims that Calusa should have been aware that Molly had sensitive skin because she had been going to the clinic since she was a puppy.

When Alexander took Molly to an emergency room that was affiliated with Calusa, the veterinarian said that the wounds might be lesions caused by potentially fatal diseases, according to the lawsuit.

Alexander went back to Calusa the next day and she said she was led to believe that Molly was suffering from a life-threatening disease. She had tests done but they all came out negative.

Alexander said then at that point did the employees at Calusa finally admit that Molly had been burned during the teeth cleaning.

The vet who treated Molly said, “I don’t think we were ever dishonest with her. There was something odd about Molly and Molly’s individual case.”

He further added that Molly’s injuries were highly unusual and that the staff had tests done because they wanted to rule out the possibility of lupus or another disease.

Alexander said that Molly was in pain for at least six months and that she had to drink water through a syringe.

In the complaint, Alexander stated, “A beautiful little toy poodle is now permanently disfigured and sensitive in certain areas of her skin as a result of the injuries and poor care she received at Calusa.”

Source: Sun-Sentinel

(Thanks Stefani)

36 Responses to “Vet Center Sued After Owner Alleges Dog Had Burns After Teeth Cleaning”

  1. G in INdiana says:

    Why did she wait two years to file a lawsuit? If it had been my dog, I would have gotten a lawyer immediately.

  2. Stefani says:

    Re:

    “If it had been my dog, I would have gotten a lawyer immediately.”

    You would be surprised how hard it is to find a lawyer to represent you in these cases. Also, this article doesn’t say she just filed, she may have filed a while ago.

    It often takes time for you to figure out if you have a case, and find a lawyer willing to take a case like this. Also, some owners want to file with the veterinary board first, to see what the outcome is (I am not saying that was the case here, I’m just giving you reasons why it might take someone a while to file a suit).

    Also, it sounds like the dog needed pretty dedicated care for about six months. I can tell you from personal experience, when your pet is seriously hurt at the veterinarians, your FIRST concern is taking care of your pet, and doing something about the vet comes second. An animal that needs a lot of care takes up a lot of your time, so does a lawsuit. Sometimes you just have to put first things first and care for your loved one, get them stable, THEN think about taking action.

    I applaud everyone with the balls to speak out about these things, and to file complaints and lawsuits against vets. Only through consumer action will vets begin to realize that they need to be more careful with our beloved animals.

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

    The Bad Vet Daily — badvetdaily.blogspot.com

  3. Stefani says:

    PS — another reason someone might wait is to save money for a lawyer. Lawyers don’t take these cases pro bono or on retainer — there is virtually nothing to recover, and if you aren’t going to get a big payout, they aren’t either, therefore, you have to pay them by the hour, usually about $250/hour.

  4. Velvet's Dad says:

    Missing from the story, unless I missed it reading too fast, is the owner getting a referral for another vet and then getting a second opinion. It’s likely the owner has a new vet but I didn’t read about what that vet’s diagnosis was. She must have brought her dog to another vet for additional treatment. The second vet’s treatment would then weigh heavily on the plaintiff’s side.

  5. petrescue Florida says:

    Why am I not surprised that this incident took place in Florida.. My precious Casper a ShihTzu that went to Heaven 2/11/06 had so many bad incident’s at the vet’s office I could not list them all, and forget about the Florida groomer’s.. He lost partial site in one of his eyes at 1 yr old as the result of a groomer’s dryer, but forget trying to file complaint’s NO WITNESS just the vet’s diagnosis upon immediate examination.. It had gotten to a point where I would never leave him at a groomer I stood there and watched.. My little 7 yr old ShihTzu rescue Angel went to the vet’s in 2006 to have his teeth cleaned and when I picked him up I was told they pulled 11 teeth and no one at the vet’s office bothered to call me first to discuss this before they made that decision.. He still cannot eat whole dry food I need to add water to it to make it soft and it was four month’s before his mouth healed.. And it’s like shoveling it against the tide to complain to the Florida State Attorney General’s office all you get is a reply ” we keep all of this information on file for further review of other complaint’s”.. I sincerely hope that Molly’s health get’s better and that her caregiver’s get some justice for her …

  6. The Lioness says:

    Jeebus. I feel so blessed to have a vet’s office that I feel I can trust (so far, and it’s been at least 15 years.) My heart goes out to this family. I, too, hope that little Molly recovers and sees some justice.

    ~The Lioness

  7. Anonymous says:

    developed sensitivity to the heating pads used during the procedure.

    sustained burns, even though they wrapped Molly in bandages and treated her with ice packs after the procedure

    DURING TEETH CLEANING ?? what heating pads? i never heard of this.

  8. Rose says:

    The legal system for civil suits is very slow, she could have filed suit years earlier and not get case to court till much later.

  9. Dee says:

    Anon,

    Heated water-circulating table pads are often used (sometimes even required) for anesthetic procedures where hypothermia of the patient would be a concern. This mostly involves smaller patients and elderly patients—the exact ones most likely to need to undergo extensive dental cleanings due to rotten teeth. Add to that the water involved in the cleaning (it gets all over the face), and it’s easy to see how important it is to keep these patients warm during the procedure. I would be leary of a clinic that didn’t consider patient thermoregulation to be of high priority.

    Some practices “cheat” and use electric heating pads during the procedure and/or recovery to lower the cost of the entire procedure. It is these pads that are invariably associated with dermatological burns, especially if it is not covered by a towel, or if the control is bumped up higher than the lowest setting (surprisingly easy to do) and not noticed in time….since the tech is more likely concerned with monitoring the patients’ vitals and performing the procedure in the fastest time possible, so as to be able to shorten the duration of anesthesia.

    If more owners were willing to pay what the procedure is worth, instead of insisting on bare-bones-minimum cost, pet hospitals wouldn’t have to look for shortcuts in cost in order to get clients to pay for procedures that their pets need. A proper dental prophy involves one DVM and at least one (preferably 2) LVT’s, a lot of drugs, equipment, and a good bit of time as well as expertise….and then someone has to be paid to clean up all the mess. Pet hospitals don’t just wake up and find all that on their doorsteps for free each day. It has to be paid for. If we can’t pay for our consumable supplies, pay for our equipment, pay our employees, pay all of our regulatory/government/licensing fees, and have at least a little bit left over to pay ourselves, then we wouldn’t be able to help anyone’s pets. Despite that, you’d be amazed at how many people will balk over an additional $25-100 to make the procedure as safe as possible.

  10. Dee says:

    PetrescueFlorida,

    Those 11 extractions added YEARS to your little Angel’s life. Dental disease is second only to nutritional failure in shortening our pets’ lives. Many times, there is no decision to “discuss” the extraction of teeth….they are most often so rotten (which includes painful, btw—even if your pet doesn’t “tell” you that) that there is no choice BUT to extract. Leaving teeth like that in a dog’s mouth actually constitutes malpractice, and violates our oath as
    veterinarians….since to do so causes harm to the animal.

    And I’m not saying this is you….because I could have no way of knowing….but 9 times out of 10 when I stop during a procedure to call the owner (which I, for one, DO do), they are: 1. Not there, and someone has to find them to give them the message, 2. The phone number they left me is invalid, 3. I get voice mail because they are screening and have to wait for them to call me back, 4. The number is busy (not everyone has call-waiting), 5. It just rings and rings and rings….because they went shopping, but gave me their home phone number.

    All of this while their pet is under anesthesia (something I’d like not to last all morning), and while I have other clients and patients waiting…some of whom are calling every 15 minutes to check on THEIR precious pets.

    But back to Angel….if 11 teeth were extracted, I can assure you there was good cause. I see dogs all the time still battling with teeth that SHOULD have been extracted long ago….because they are eating away at the jawbone and creating disease in other internal organs as well. If it did indeed take that long for her mouth to heal, that’s just a testament to how BADLY her mouth was infected to start with. It’s better to have zero teeth than a bunch of infected ones….dogs learn to eat just fine, even if you don’t soften their food (they learn to do it themselves with their saliva.) Please try to be grateful for the added years of (comfortable) life your little friend was given.

  11. petrescue Florida says:

    Dee, quite obviously you are a vet so you are biased in your assumption’s and responses.. My dog’s and cat’s live better than I do right down to the bottled water they drink so their care is more important than mine and I go to the vet more than I go to my own doctor.. As far as calling me or telling me about Angel’s care beforehand I would expect that from any good doctor and I can assure you that I never leave my phone when one of my furbabies are either at the doctor or groomer and money is never an issue when it comes to them.. So don’t put me in a general category.. And until you walk in my shoe’s don’t make assumption’s about my pet’s or my rescue’s.. and I am well aware that dental care is the precursor to good internal health for the pet which is why I brush my pet’s teeth..

  12. stefani says:

    Anon, et al,

    Just FYI, I paid $1,000 a couple of weeks ago to have two of my cats get dentals. I was willing to gulp and pay that because this hospital uses all licensed vet techs - and I know the vet and their protocol, my cats are on IVs the whole time, monitored very well, etc. I ask lots of questions. Pre-anest bloodwork (full panel) Xrays, anesthetic protocol, the whole deal. I was going to even pay extra for sevo but they stopped ordering it. I had a total of 5 extractions for the 2 cats, both of whom have resorptive lesions. I gave very specific instructions on what I wanted in terms of extractions (save borderline teeth) etc. They released on pain control and antibiotics. So far, I am pretty impressed by this vet.

    Anyway, let’s not assume that this family was trying to get the work done on the cheap. I know there are clients like that, and I realize that is frustrating for those of you who would like to practice at the highest level –but there are also lots of clients like me. AND even if they were going to a cheaper vet — it doesn’t make them responsible for any malpractice or negligence that may have been committed by the vet, if in fact that is what there was. Don’t blame clients for vets sloppiness. If the vet is going to use cost-saving measures like heating pads, it’s their responsibility to monitor for any risks associated with that, its NOT the owners responsibility for going to a cheap vet in the first place.

    I hate it when you guys always think its the clients fault. It’s the clients fault when they don’t do things for their pet (true) but then when they DO you can’t blame them when the outcome is the result of the failure of the vet or vet staff. Even those owners who can’t pay high prices shouldln’t be paying for malpractice and it’s ALWAYS the vets responsibility when he messes up, NOT the clients. Take responsibility in your profession please. Don’t just blame cheap clients.

    I am totally willing to pay for a good vet care, but I buy NO excuses for sloppy care, messups, etc. Your industry needs some serious quality standards.

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com

  13. Dee says:

    If you’ll kindly notice, I was talking about the public in general, not these owners in particular….since I don’t know the details of the case.

    Sorry, but the owners (in general) DO have to take the responsibility when they CHOOSE lower quality options for their pets, which is often the case. I can’t go into personal debt to pay for treatment that clients can’t afford by providing $1000 worth of services to everyone who walks in the door, regardless of their abillity to pay. So, we try to work within their budgets and give them other options when they can’t afford what is recommended.

    $500 per cat for what you listed IS cheap, considering what it *costs* DVMs to provide all of that. Sounds like they did a good job for you and your kitties (other than the borderline teeth thing—-borderline CRL’s/FORL’s/whatever anyone wants to call them today should always be extracted, since repair doesn’t work and they’re only going to get worse…and more painful….on their own), BUT your bill should have been much higher. In any case, it sounds like you’ve found a good clinic and should stick with them.

    And I’m not saying that this clinic didn’t mess up if they didn’t properly monitor their patient….they very well may have….but some owners are willing to (and knowingly) “take their chances” with lower standards of care in order to keep the fees as low as possible. I’ve even had many people request for me to do dental work without appropriate anesthesia, leave the bloodwork or antibiotics off, not extract rotten teeth, etc…..totally absurd requests, but that’s still what they want. It would be a lovely world if money were no object and we could do everything to the gold standard, but that’s simply not practical. It’s not even practical in human medicine. (Which, btw, would have charged you upwards of $10,000 for the procedures you listed.) So WHO is in need of better standards? MDs could learn a lot about how to perform procedures in a more cost-effective manner. Or, maybe you could devote 8-10 years of your life to 8-10 hours of grueling college work that the vast majority of the public couldn’t even begin to master 5-6 days a week, to the tune of $200,000 or more with no income during that time, then go into further debt to open a hospital, equip it to the standards of your State Practice Act (which are very stringent), find and pay dedicated and qualified employees willing to work in a thankless profession for the effort required….then you could do the procedures to your standards and charge what you’d like. There is a monetary limit of what the (general) public is willing to pay….and that’s what limits us. It’s not the other way around.

  14. stefani says:

    FYI, after looking at their website, it seems pretty clear that the Alexander’s aren’t cheapskate clients, and they were almost certainly paying boutique-y prices for Calusa.

    http://www.cvcboca.com/

    Not a place cheap clients would go.

  15. Denise says:

    I don’t think it had anything to do with quality but someone probably left a heating pad on to long. I work in a real estate office and a girl I know took her pup to a very upscale vet to it groomed. I had used that vet’s office before and it was very expensive and they had grooming. the groomer left the dog on the table and the dog hung himself. almost to the point of death. His eyes were hemoraging. My friend was livid and they told her it didn’t happen there. she called an attorney and they admitted everything and paid for her emergency care. they wanted her to bring the dog in though to have it tested for diseases. She took the dog to another vet that she had been using and he said no way the dog was 2 years old but they wanted her to take the dog to their vet and she said no. so they really tried to cover here. I hope she would never take the dog back though. $1,000.00 to have 2 cats teeth cleaned is excessive. You just have a vet that is charging an arm and leg. My vet cleaned my cats teeth himself and no tech does it. He charged me $250.00 and yes he did it himself. You can find a vet just as good as yours that won’t gouge you. I am not cheap my pup muffin had lymphoma and we spent thousands trying to save her but for teeth cleaning you have been way over charged. You can get on the phone and call some of the nicest and best clinics around and I don’t think most would charge more that $300.00 tops. If it makes you more comfortable to take them there then you should by why waste your money. if they need a specialist then its top dollar but not for a routine cleaning. They took you for a ride.

  16. Denise says:

    I don’t think it had anything to do with quality but someone probably left a heating pad on to long. I work in a real estate office and a girl I know took her pup to a very upscale vet to it groomed. I had used that vet’s office before and it was very expensive and they had grooming. the groomer left the dog on the table and the dog hung himself. almost to the point of death. His eyes were hemoraging. My friend was livid and they told her it didn’t happen there. she called an attorney and they admitted everything and paid for her emergency care. they wanted her to bring the dog in though to have it tested for diseases. She took the dog to another vet that she had been using and he said no way the dog was 2 years old but they wanted her to take the dog to their vet and she said no. so they really tried to cover here. I hope she would never take the dog back though. $1,000.00 to have 2 cats teeth cleaned is excessive. You just have a vet that is charging an arm and leg. My vet cleaned my cats teeth himself and no tech does it. He charged me $250.00 and yes he did it himself. You can find a vet just as good as yours that won’t gouge you. I am not cheap my pup muffin had lymphoma and we spent thousands trying to save her but for teeth cleaning you have been way over charged. You can get on the phone and call some of the nicest and best clinics around and I don’t think most would charge more that $300.00 tops. If it makes you more comfortable to take them there then you should by why waste your money. if they need a specialist then its top dollar but not for a routine cleaning. They took you for a ride. I had to have my dogs eye lashes frozen and removed and had to go to a specialist in and office like this and that was very expensive but i would not pay that much for a routine cleaning espically because I know my vet is really good and caring and my dog is in good hands. He sent her to an internist in a place like this and it was expensive but she needed to be checked and I listened. I am not paying for his building and he is great and so is his staff. I guess if it makes someone feel better to pay $1000. 00 to have 2 kittys teeth cleaned do it. How much does your dentist charge to do yours? my dentist charges I think $130.00. if he said $500.00 I would think he was crazy. oh well to each his own.

  17. Denise says:

    I don’t think it had anything to do with quality but someone probably left a heating pad on to long. I work in a real estate office and a girl I know took her pup to a very upscale vet to it groomed. I had used that vet’s office before and it was very expensive and they had grooming. the groomer left the dog on the table and the dog hung himself. almost to the point of death. His eyes were hemoraging. My friend was livid and they told her it didn’t happen there. she called an attorney and they admitted everything and paid for her emergency care. they wanted her to bring the dog in though to have it tested for diseases. She took the dog to another vet that she had been using and he said no way the dog was 2 years old but they wanted her to take the dog to their vet and she said no. so they really tried to cover here. I hope she would never take the dog back though. $1,000.00 to have 2 cats teeth cleaned is excessive. You just have a vet that is charging an arm and leg. My vet cleaned my cats teeth himself and no tech does it. He charged me $250.00 and yes he did it himself. You can find a vet just as good as yours that won’t gouge you. I am not cheap my pup muffin had lymphoma and we spent thousands trying to save her but for teeth cleaning you have been way over charged. You can get on the phone and call some of the nicest and best clinics around and I don’t think most would charge more that $300.00 tops. If it makes you more comfortable to take them there then you should by why waste your money. if they need a specialist then its top dollar but not for a routine cleaning. They took you for a ride. I had to have my dogs eye lashes frozen and removed and had to go to a specialist in and office like this and that was very expensive but i would not pay that much for a routine cleaning espically because I know my vet is really good and caring and my dog is in good hands. He sent her to an internist in a place like this and it was expensive but she needed to be checked and I listened. I am not paying for his building and he is great and so is his staff. I guess if it makes someone feel better to pay $1000. 00 to have 2 kittys teeth cleaned do it. How much does your dentist charge to do yours? my dentist charges I think $130.00. if he said $500.00 I would think he was crazy. oh well to each his own.

  18. Denise says:

    yikes my comments are up there 3 times sorry everyone.

  19. stefani says:

    Re:

    “You can get on the phone and call some of the nicest and best clinics around and I don’t think most would charge more that $300.00 tops. If it makes you more comfortable to take them there then you should by why waste your money.”

    Denise, thanks for your suggestions. But I am sticking with this vet. If you look at my website (http://www.TheTooncesProject.com) you will see what a bad experience I had when I went to this other local vet. Because I trust the one I see now, I have no intention of looking around for someone else because of $$$. It means I sometimes have to put things on plastic, but I’ll live with it.

    They use only licensed vet techs the place where I go now. That is one of the reasons they are more expensive, and since my cat’s tragedy occurred because of the vet using unlicensed, unsupervised, staff, I will never use a place that doesn’t use all LVTs as long as I live. They could ask me to put a second mortgage on my house, I would probably do it, just because I am terrified to leave a vet I trust given what I have learned about the quality of veterinary care- or lack thereof — around here. I even drive to a neighboring state to see these people because there are almost no vets who use all LVTs in my state.

    Quality vet care is very hard to find and it is often hard to tell whether you have it or not until tragedy occurs. So just calling around or even asking around - no I wouldn’t switch based on that. They could be robbing me blind but they are a known quantity.

    And I really don’t think they are robbing me blind, given all that they do. The licensed techs, the IV, the anesthetic protocol they use, the fact that the vet does the dental herself and calls me immediately after, etc. etc. There might be someone else out there as good cheaper, but I’m not willing to take the risk of switching like I did the last time and having tragedy result, like it did the last time. That place where the bad thing happened to my cat was AAHA-certified and considered expensive also locally, but look what happened? I would have had no way of knowing they were so careless to have unqualified staff giving dangerous medicines. Not worth the risk to switch.

  20. stefani says:

    PS — as for $300 at other places, yes, that’s pretty much the base price where I go too, but that doesn’t include extractions, and I had 2 cats done, not one.

  21. pheephee35 says:

    Wow! I guess I got off really cheap. The first vet quoted $100 to clean my cat’s teeth. She needed it done before I adopted her, but the shelter could not “afford” it. Well, I am so low income that $100 is more than I could pay for my own teeth, let alone my sweet cat. So, I went to a vet that does many rescued animal neuterings and he did it for $30. BTW I live near San Diego!

    As for the heating pad thing — there is absolutely no excuse. NONE! Here is why from my experience: My second baby had severe cholic and just could not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. The “doctor” refused any medication and made out that I was exaggerating. “They grow out of it in a couple of months,” he said. I used a heating pad to keep her tummy warm by turning it on in the bed while I fed her and then turning it off before I laid her down on her tummy (that was okay to do 30 years ago!) Well, you guessed it, a couple of times I was so worn out from her frequent crying, barfing and my insomnia that I forgot to shut it off. She did not get burned, thank the Good Lord, but she got mighty pink. And no she had no ill effects, or ice packs or anything. We finally found something to give her by mouth that helped, and I quit using the heating pad.

    Maybe their heating pads, which according to Dee, should not be used to prevent hypothermia, were set on high because they were careless, or maybe they were defective.

    As for infection in the body, one might try fig tree tincture to prevent mild infections.

  22. Don Earl says:

    PF,

    After my experience with extractions on one of my cat’s teeth, I seriously question whether I’d ever give permission to have it done again. I took a happy, healthy, energetic cat in, and got back a cat that was sick for nearly 2 months. Very, very, very sick.

    For starters, I seriously question the practice of keeping an animal under for the teeth cleaning, then extending that period by whatever length of time is required for the additional surgery. IMO, if it has to be done, it should be done in two visits. Clean the teeth, do the x-rays and wake ‘em up. From there the vet can propertly discuss the issues with the pet owner, examine the options, and if necessary schedule a follow up appointment when the vet knows what needs to be done and how long it will take, so it isn’t a rush cut and hack job.

    Something I didn’t know until I did some research on it afterward, is cat’s teeth are automatically absorbed into the jawbone when they get these lessions. Since nature has its own way of dealing with the problem, I’d lean toward the idea that keeping the teeth clean to prevent gum disease while the tooth is being absorbed might even be the more appropriate approach. I don’t know. The only opinion on the subject seems to be from those who nail you to the tune of $1000 per hour to remove the teeth.

    Of interest is on his last check up, the vet indicated his teeth looked great and weren’t in need of cleaning. I’d switched him to an all meat, homemade diet about 8 months earlier - got him off the recycled garbage commercial pet food. After dropping over a grand on the dental work, and spending 2 months nursing him back to health, the little extra time and money for homemade is looking like a bargain.

    From what I’ve been able to find, evidently this epidemic of tooth problems was virtually unknown back when people mostly fed table scraps and let the cat out to catch a mouse or two. I doubt you’ll ever see any pet food company sponsored studies on the link between commercial pet food and dental disease, but the anecdotal evidence suggests there’s a connection.

    And, Dee, a tip on the old bedside manner thing… whining prima donnas, crying the blues about not being able to get rich quick by gouging every pet owner that walks through the door, well… I think you’ll find that doesn’t go over very well with anyone other than your collegues. If you adjust your attitude to the point you care as much for your patients as the pet owners that put them in your care, you’ll find money isn’t an object. People can tell the difference between prima donnas and competent medical professionals. I can guarantee you the former do not command top dollar for their services in the eyes of their customers.

    Pop quiz: How much do you charge a customer to tell them you don’t have a foggy notion what’s wrong with their pet? Is it more or less that a fry cook at McDonald’s would charge for the same information?

  23. Sharon says:

    My cat has never had her teeth cleaned and they need it but I’m too afraid to take her in. This is the reason why. I don’t trust anyone anymore to know what they are doing. There are too many stupid people in this world with no training and no clue what they are doing. It’s all designed to make a buck off of us as owners. I’ll take my chances with the consequences of her dental disease since “do no harm” doesn’t seem to be the credo of anyone working with animals these days.

  24. Donna says:

    Working for years in a vet clinic. What I saw…………..would send most pet owners into panic. Indifference, abuse and negelect was common place. I lost a cat to a neuter procedure. Reason ? Negelect upon recovery. They left him, on the table with no monitor. No one wanted to explain to me as the manager of a 2 million dollar clinic as to how he died. Later , a vet came forth to give me the details. They offered me a 50% discount ! Upon killing my cat. Great bunch, those murders are. Keep in mind,………..really there is no “simple” procedures. All pose risks. I in formed one vet, he just completed a “spay” on a tom cat .Discovered as my job was to check on post op pets. Make sure you convey several times the sex of your pet and question the procedure. Little faith in vet care, no faith in human medical care. Buyer beware……….should be your mantra. Money is not the root of all evil,……….seeking profit with little concern for the patients , well being is. Good vets are worth their weight in gold.The hard part,……..is finding one with ethics.

  25. Denise says:

    Hi Dee and everyone. I know yes you have to find a good vet that is the most important thing no matter what. I just got lucky this time and have had my share of bad. I had my muffin go to a very high price vets office. they said she had allegeries and kept giving her shots of steriods. she deleveloped in 2003 at 7 years old. I took her to a specialist and she had a baceteria yeast infection after 5 years of going through steroids shutting her immune system down she probably could not fight off the cancer. so I got to the specialist and they cleared her skin up in 2 weeks but I lost her we tried to save her and could not. If I had taken her to the specialist in the first place I might have her today. My vet though is good for routine very good and he won’t hesitate to send me to a specialist and I go and i listen to him. missy gets her eyes checked again a week from Friday. More expensive might not be better its the people that are working there that is for sure. I brush missys teeth just to avoid the cleaning as long as I can. Stephani yes if you find a good vet you have to stick with them and that is why I am where I am now. I would never take her to a stranger its word of mouth and references are the best i think. take care sincerely, Denise

  26. DeniseA says:

    I agree with Don Earl…since I started feeding my dogs raw and homecooked foods my dogs teeth are clean and white (I wish my teeth
    looked like theirs)…one dog is 9yrs and the other is 7yrs.

    they get weekly raw beef knuckle bones to gnaw and chew on.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I just find it so disgusting that for decades petowners have been taking the word of a veterinary community that’s been in the pocket of the ag/pharma/petfood/ad industry and as long as the petowners were kept in the dark and weren’t asking any touchy questions the vets could keep polishing their halos and sucking up the bucks while not passing the scary facts on to the consumers. Pets paid the price for that with their lives.

    Now that petowners are getting access to some real information and just beginning to have the ammunition to ask real questions and suddenly the vets are sounding real defensive. It’s not hard to see why.

  28. Anonymous says:

    re: Good vets are worth their weight in gold.

    We all agree on that. We’re only reading here because we care “more” than average and are more informed than average. Any good and ethical vet should be hugely pleased when customers care that much - it means they’ll appreciate that vet even more - and he/she will be communicating that approval to customers too.

    Then you get the ones that go right to blaming the victim/customer: We’re so altrustic, so poor and it’s all the stupid customers fault. When you hear that you know exactly what kind of vet you’re dealing with.
    Back away.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Knowing what I have learned in recent years, I can look back and spot some of the atrocious and abusive things vets did to our childhood pets.
    You cannot tell me, for instance, that vets did not know what they were doing when they were amputating cats toes. They all did it. They gave the rabies vaccines for years while information was coming out about vaccine induced sarcomas, pushed those moneymaking vaccines, and they are defensive about it to this day.

    Petowners should remember all of this. Vets have not suddenly become saints overnight.

    Personally, I promised all my childhood animal friends and some since then that I’d find out the facts and help spread the word.

    As far as vets, I have to say I remain hugely disappointed and therefore I remain proactively suspicious as the caretaker of my animal friends. The veterinary profession has a terrible track record and history and until i see profound change i will not be convinced there is any. So far, i don’t see much at all.

  30. Anonymous says:

    i don’t think the veterinary community is the injured party in any way. they are a powerful industry group with lobbyists, and powerful industry and media friends. big money, big business. i don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for them. they owe me the full, straight answers to any questions i desire to ask.
    that’s how i look at it. when i ask those questions, any that become defensive or snotty about that immediately become even more suspect and lose my respect.

    i care about the animal. that is my priority. period. i don’t give a fat flying rip$hit about veterinarians wounded pride. that’s not to say i don’t appreciate them. but they’re a far sight from what they could be imo and they must earn my respect. period. there IS no other way.

  31. Don Earl says:

    Sharon,

    RE: “My cat has never had her teeth cleaned and they need it but I’m too afraid to take her in.”

    A good vet will run some tests before doing the proceedure to make sure your cat can handle the anesthetic. Dental disease is potentially life threatening to your cat, so if cleaning needs to be done, it should be done.

    My own experience with extractions causes me to question the practice, but there’s no question teeth cleaning should be done when needed.

  32. Denise says:

    Don Earl you are right we are getting smarter. I do what they call Titers on my dog. I check her immunities for vaccines. I mean they vaccinate our dogs and cats once a year. I check my dog every 6 months and she is still on her orignal puppy vaccines from novemeber 2004. I spoke with the vet tech from a specialty vet that took care of my other dog when she had lymphoma. she told me this. she said I am glad you are doing that test and not over vaccinating missy. She said most vets know about it but won’t tell you. her immunities are still very high from her first shots. My vet was blown away he have never had anyone ask him to do this test because its expensive. at least I think most people did what I did trust the vets and goverment. even concerning the food someone mentioned that the vets are getting kickbacks its true. what do they always have ??? Iams and science diet.

  33. Gina says:

    I have had my cat’s teeth cleaned and all was good. Some extractions, nnot a lot. I am having my one cat going in at the end of the month. The vet that saw her last said she may have one pulled but they all (I have 3) needed their teeth cleaned. They catch mice but don’t eat them. They are outddoor/indoor cats.

    My dogs don’t have much tarter but my one wolf mix has the cleanest whitest teeth. He will eat what he catches but I also give all 3 raw meat every week. My GSD cannot stomach too much so all raw is out.

    I guess I am lucky–I have had a number of vets in the Seattle area and while I am unhappy with a few, none was for service. All of my animals have gotten great care. I am at a new vet who does good work for my animals and he’ll clean my cat’s teeth. I try not to put any of my animals under if I don’t have to.

    If got one of my animals back with injuries you can better believe I will be contacting a lawyer, posting what happened and where EVERYWHERE and seeking restitution. I go to the vet for medical treatment, not to cause more medical problems.

    Hope the little poodle is better now. Oh and I sleep with an electric heating pad. I have been burned before with the old ones. The new ones have an auto shut off so you can’t get burned. Of course I would wake up when I felt the burn, but perhaps the vets that are using electric heating pads are using old ones.

  34. Laura says:

    I really need someones opinion. I had my dogs teeth cleaned by the SPCA. He is now missing a tooth, as far as I can tell at this point, which they deny, he has loose teeth, that weren’t before, he still groggy and to top it off, he peeped himself in his favorite spot, which he still wants to sleep in=o( Any suggestions?

  35. Jenny says:

    hi…After searching the web for anything on heating pad burns, I stumbled upon this article…I have two Maltese…My first Maltese Penelolpe went to the vet for a dental cleaning and much needed extractions…She had to have many teeth removed…A few days after her surgery I noticed that she would cry when I would pick her up…I assumed it was from the injection site…trauma from surgery…bruises….WHO KNOWS…but I thought it was all related….She seemed to be very sensitive on her left side…I took her to the vet and they shaved the area and found a skin infection…they claimed it wasnt related to the surgery and it was NOT a burn from heating pads..it was bloody and painful and took a long time to heal with additional antibiotics that I had to pay for in addition to the 1500 dollars I paid for the surgery….6 months later my other maltese, Perci, goes in for the same dental procedure….and a few days after surgery he has the same symptoms….I immediatly took him to the vet and they admited it must be heating pad burns..A very large burned area the size of a remote control….and that hers must have been a burn as well …However they claim that they have never had it happen before..They wondered if my dogs were related as they thought it could be a genetic reaction..( my dogs are NOT related )..He actually charged me for the meds! I like the vet…but I feel cheated…I have spent over 2500 dollars between the two dogs…how dare they charge ME for burning my dogs! Poor poor Perci is not on more antibiotics….pain meds…and some cream for burns….in which they charged me for! it just doesnt seem right

  36. Scott says:

    My pug dog, Brutus, was burned by a heating pad when he was getting a tooth extracted. After a second and third opinion confirmed it was a thermal burn due to electric heating pad, my vet agreed to pay for his antibiotics, skin salves, and anything else that will help him recuperate from the burns.


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